A video of the seizure taking place, if available, can help the doctor make a diagnosis. To diagnose tonic and clonic seizures, the physician is likely to use imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging MRI to look for scarred areas in the brain, as well as electroencephalography EEG to help differentiate the seizures from other problems.

Tonic and clonic seizures, like other seizures and seizure disorders, require an individualized approach.

The doctor may recommend treatment with anti-seizure medication, nerve stimulation, dietary therapy or surgery. Health Home Conditions and Diseases Epilepsy. What You Need to Know Tonic and clonic seizures can start on one side of the brain partial or focal seizures , or on both sides of the brain simultaneously generalized.

Tonic and clonic seizure activity can happen in the same seizure. This gives doctors a more accurate way to describe a person's seizures, and helps them to prescribe the most appropriate treatments.

Order or download our seizures leaflet:. Download the PDF Order the leaflet from our shop. Skip to content. Skip to navigation. Site Navigation About epilepsy About epilepsy What is epilepsy?

Primary tabs View active tab Devel. The amount of stimulation delivered by the electrode is controlled by a pacemaker-like device placed under the skin in your chest. A wire that travels under your skin connects the device to the electrode. It's also important to know that some anti-seizure medications can alter the effectiveness of oral contraceptives — a form of birth control — and some oral contraceptives can speed up the absorption of seizure medications.

If contraception is a high priority, check with your doctor to evaluate whether your medication interacts with your oral contraceptive, and if other forms of contraception need to be considered. Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease. Seizures don't usually result in serious injury, but if you have recurrent seizures, injury is a possibility.

These steps can help you avoid injury during a seizure:. It's helpful to know what to do if you witness someone having a seizure. If you're at risk of having seizures in the future, pass this information along to family, friends and co-workers so that they know what to do if you have a seizure.

If you're living with a seizure disorder, you may feel anxious or stressed about what your future holds. Stress can affect your mental health, so it's important to talk with your health care provider about your feelings and seek ways you can find help.

Your family can provide much-needed support. Tell them what you know about your seizure disorder. Let them know they can ask you questions, and be open to conversations about their worries. Help them understand your condition by sharing any educational materials or other resources that your health care provider has given you. Meet with your supervisor and talk about your seizure disorder and how it affects you. Discuss what you need from your supervisor or co-workers if a seizure happens while at work.

Consider talking with your co-workers about seizure disorders — you can widen your support system and bring about acceptance and understanding.

Remember, you don't have to go it alone. Reach out to family and friends. Ask your health care provider about local support groups or join an online support community. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Having a strong support system is important to living with any medical condition. In some cases, seizures need immediate medical attention, and there's not always time to prepare for an appointment. In other cases, your first appointment to evaluate a seizure may be with your family doctor or a general practitioner. Get Word of the Day daily email! Test Your Vocabulary. Love words? Need even more definitions? The awkward case of 'his or her'. Take the quiz Spell It Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

This type of seizure (also called a convulsion) is what most people think of when they hear the word "seizure." An older term for this type of seizure is "grand mal." As implied by the name, they combine the characteristics of tonic and clonic seizures. Tonic means stiffening, and clonic .

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